This week, Governor DeWine ordered all of the state's county fairs to scale back to just their 'junior fairs', starting July 31st and after. On The Sound of Ideas, we'll talk about county fairs and the recent efforts to remove confederate flags from flying over them, and being sold at them.
We saw rebel flags flying at widespread protests following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May - generally by counter protestors. Those sightings led to a larger conversation, and a re-examination of Confederate symbols in this country, specifically memorials and statues. Many have been vandalized or torn down by protestors, and some have been removed, or targeted for removal, by state and city officials.
We've also had conversations around Confederate symbols here in Ohio, where you can still find memorials to Confederate soldiers in some cemeteries, and a standing monument to Robert E. Lee in southwest Ohio's Warren County, which we'll be speaking of in more detail a bit later.
And yes, even though Ohio was with the Union during the War Between the States, you can still find the rebel battle flag being flown, and sold, in many parts of the state.
Accordingly, discussions around the flag have reached the Statehouse. Last month, Ohio lawmakers rejected two attempts by State Representative Juanita Brent of Cleveland, to ban the sale of the Confederate flag and other confederate memorabilia at county fairs. That remains in the news this week, as Brent claims State Rep. Kyle Koehler of Springfield cursed at her about her stand. Brent said the conversation was about amendments to the bill. Koehler now claims his profanity was not directed at her, after writing a letter of apology.
Lawmakers against the ban said it would be a violation of free speech, and that local authorities should decide what to do at fairs. Representative Brent pointed out that the flag has been banned at Ohio's State Fair since 2015, and has not faced any free speech challenge. While 'at' the local level, there have been recent grassroots efforts to ban vendors from selling or displaying the flag at county fairs.
We'll start by getting an update on the flag debate with ideastream reporter Taylor Haggerty, who has been covering this issue.
Then, we'll meet a few of the outstanding female leaders who were honored as 2020's "Women of Note" by Crains Cleveland Business.
Taylor Haggerty, Reporter, ideastream
Eric Michael Rhodes, Professor & Historian
Amy Backus, Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education, Case Western Reserve University
Duriya Dhinojwala, Partner, Brennan, Manna & Diamond Law Firm
Jacqueline Gillon, Community Engagement Specialist & Diversity Coordinator, Western Reserve Land Conservancy